Wow! What a week for gaming. Steam's Summer sale isn't blowing me away, but I'm getting in lots of PC gaming while I wait for sales to refresh every eight hours.
I finished Red Dead Redemption: The Undead Nightmare this week. It was very good, but not the excellent experience that was the vanilla game. It was the lack of shooting badguys that was really the problem. It was well written though and loads of fun. Falls apart a little at the end, feels like it was wrapped up a little quickly. An easy recommend though to those who haven't played it. It was so nice to get back in to that world.
So, then I got it in my head to play my unplayed Steam games from the beginning of the alphabet. Yeah, I know...dumb idea, but it started me with Alpha Prime.
Alpha Prime was one of the very first games I bought when I joined Steam. It was on sale for sub-$5...and then I never played it. I was really surprised when I booted it up though. It looks damn nice for a game from 2006.
It is fairly standard first person shooter fare especially in the sci-fi setting, but I had a lot of fun with it. It reminds me of Half-Life gameplay with a Doom 3 setting with a dash of Red Faction. Not as good as any of those, but it certainly doesn't disappoint.
I think the game really only has two problems. The AI is too good of a shot by far (I played on Hard, but still it was too good in comparison to other games) and the lack of variety of baddies is a little boring. Overall though, the gameplay and graphics are solid. The sound design is great and the story is pretty good. The voice acting is a little off sometimes, but solid overall and the dialogue is actually pretty well done.
The one thing it did that I can't remember seeing in another game (though at 41 years old, my memory is not to be trusted) is the storage boxes. They have a very Half Life-like physics engine with a similar grabbing mechanic. They have boxes with lids that have items (ammo, health, etc) in them. You can grab the lids off, or grab the whole box by the bottom if they are up high. They feel very cool in the world adding a nice sense of realism. You can easily overlook them and there is the simple joy of opening mystery boxes. Also, because of the physics, you can spill the contents of the box all over the area, often losing some of the items. These boxes were a neat touch.
So, I finished of Alpha Prime in under eight hours. Bioshock Infinite was still too expensive for my blood on the Steam Sale, so I went looking at my indie games.
Hotline Miami was recommended by someone here (I can't find the comment). Simple, violent and really a lot of fun. The game design reminds me a little of the early Metal Gear games in some ways. I've made it to the final boss (from the original levels) and had to put it down for a bit. I've done the final boss 10 times and failed, I need a break. Thanks for the recommendation.
So, taking a break from Hotline Miami, I fired up Tiny & Big: Grandpa's Leftovers. This was also a recommend from someone here (and again I can't find the original comment...searching replies could be better). Fantastic looking and even better playing platform game (also the header pic). What a simply fantastic game with an excellent use of physics. A must play for all platform fans. Only on Linux, OS X, and Windows right now. Some publisher should snatch that up pronto for a console release or hopefully Black Pants Studio can self publish it on one of the consoles. The person recommending it said it isn't long, but it is so much fun. Whomever recommended it, thank you, I would have likely not booted that game up for a good long time without the recommendation.
And finally (I told you I had a great gaming week). I bought Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit on Steam just before the Summer Sale for $6. Now, I haven't bought a Need for Speed game since 1994 on my 3DO (and I didn't like it then). I am not into racing games with real looking cars with no weapons. At least that was until Burnout came along. I loved Burnout Revenge on 360 and play a lot of it. So, while Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit didn't look like WipEout, I figured I'd give it a shot since Criterion made it. So far I've had a great time with the few races I've done. It feels nice and fast and I notice they are giving me some weapons of sorts. I haven't played as the police yet, but it looks to be a great game that I can peck at while playing other things.
So, lots for me to finish off this weekend. Did you buy anything cool at the Steam Sale or the PSN Summer Sale? I missed getting the Ratchet and Clank collection on sale. I had purchased a $20 PSN card from WalMart for that very thing, but the code itself got wrecked when I scratched off the card. Sony did a fantastic job with support and took a couple days to get me my complete code, but by then it was too late. EA should call/email Sony's support once in a while to see how to do it right.
This weekend abounds with so many cheap games, so what are you playing?